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How Social Media May Influence Your Divorce or Custody Case

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County family law attorneys, social media and divorceA study has found that high levels of Facebook use are associated with poorer relationship outcomes. Hence, it is not surprising that social media has become part of many family law cases. Therefore, it is important that you are mindful about what you post on social media, especially if you are in the middle of or preparing for a divorce or custody case.

Even if you do not have a family law case on the horizon, however, you should always be aware of what you are posting and the ways it may be used in litigation—it is impossible to truly delete content after it has been on the Internet.

There are common ways that social media is used to influence cases. Yet, as new precedents are being set all the time related to technology and applications, caution when posting is always warranted.

Evidence of Conduct

Think twice before you post pictures of parties or vacations, as those pictures can tell the other side information that you do not want them to know. Even benign pictures in the hands of a skilled attorney can convince a judge of things that you may not want him or her to believe. For example, a picture of you at a party with a drink in your hand can be used as evidence that you have a drinking problem.

Even happy pictures with you and your children can be twisted by a talented attorney into convincing the judge that it is evidence of you putting the children at risk by posing for pictures. Almost any picture can be construed to express something that you may not mean, so it is best not to post at all.

Evidence of Assets

Another way that social media is often used in family law, especially divorce litigation, is to indicate that one party is hiding assets. Vacations, new cars, new clothes, or posting about “getting away from it all” can indicate that one party has assets that are not being disclosed.

State of Mind

One of the most important pieces of evidence that family law attorneys use social media for is to prove state of mind. Posts that express momentary frustration with children, or thoughts about your ex that you cannot help but tweet can all work against you in family court. While we all have moments of anger, you do not want to preserve these moments for posterity.

In an ethics opinion, the Bar Association has said that it is ethical for opposing attorneys to “friend” (or “follow”) their client’s opponent as long as they do not hide their identity. The information gathered this way could then be used as evidence in court. Assume that anything that you post publicly or that your spouse has access to will be seen by the judge and make decisions accordingly.

DuPage County Family Law Attorneys

Whether you are thinking about divorce or currently engaged in a custody dispute, it is important to have a skilled lawyer by your side to give you the best advantage in court. Our compassionate DuPage County family law attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC can help you with this or other family law matters.

Sources:

http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cyber.2012.0424

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/30/way-to-ruin-marriages-facebook_n_7183296.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2013/08/20/how-social-media-can-affect-your-divorce/#54f791be3346

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